It would be rare for an Oakland school board meeting to take place without a little heat. There’s usually some shouting and almost always a healthy dose of criticism leveled at the state administration, which has run the district for the last four years.
But it went to a new level tonight — at least, since I’ve been covering these meetings.
Jonah Zern, an organizer with an Oakland-based group called Education Not Incarceration, was upset that a moratorium on school closures was not on the agenda, as promised by board member Chris Dobbins. Zern prefaced his public comments by saying he was having trouble controlling his rage. Then he let it go.
“You imbeciles!” he shouted in the direction of State Administrator Kimberly Statham.
Then: “You, as a state administrator, need to get out. Get out!”
Dobbins, a new board member, explained after the meeting that he had introduced the moratorium resolution without knowing the agenda-making protocol — in other words, that he jumped the gun.
He said it will be on the agenda in August.